It happened again just last week. I was standing in the auditorium after a service and a guy came up to me and asked if he could speak to me for a minute. His question was simple. It was the same question I have gotten over and over and over for years now. “Pastor, if someone commits suicide…what happens to them in eternity?” I recognize that when people ask that question, they are really asking something more. The real question that almost nobody asks out loud is this: “If someone commits suicide, does God send them to Hell for it?”
Then there is another question that comes up what seems like at least once a week. “Pastor Wes, what do you think about cremation?” Like the aforementioned question, there is something bigger being asked. What’s really being asked is this: “Is there something wrong with having someone cremated as opposed to buried?” Or even more specifically: “Is God opposed in some way to cremation? And therefore, does cremation in some way jeopardize the soul of the deceased? Does it effect them in terms of the promised resurrection and so on and so on.”
Sometimes, the Lord burdens my heart about what truth to preach in varying ways. There are times when I am praying and God seems to speak powerfully to my heart about something. Other times, I can be studying the scripture and God lights a fire in my heart about something that way. The message I believe God has led me to this week came from repeatedly witnessing people in a state of wonder and concern about these very heavy matters related to death & eternity. After praying and reviewing some incredibly powerful and clear truth in the scripture, I have no doubt that God has asked me place a spotlight on the questions that surround suicide and cremation.
If you’ve ever wondered about such things, or even been personally connected to either or both of them, I want to encourage you to attend a service at the Rock this weekend. Maybe you and your questions are the reason the Lord has so heavily burdened my heart to declare His truth on these topics.